Protection and Prevention for CICL

Goal: Promote the rights of children who come into contact with Cambodia’s justice system.

Objectives:

  1. To increase the number of children diverted from the formal justice system in the Target Area.
  2. To decrease the number of children subjected to violence in police custody, pre-trial detention and prison.
  3. To engage relevant stakeholders to promote and advocate on behalf of child rights and interests.
  4. To strengthen existing D&CCWCs with child protection mechanisms through capacity building and outreach activities.
  • Target Provinces: Phnom Penh and Battambang province
  • Target Groups: Children in conflict with the law
  • Activities:
    • Legal aid is provided through free legal representation and free legal consultation for children. It is expected that 30 children will be provided with legal representation each year. Furthermore there will be consultations for detainees to inform them about their legal rights and inform them about important provisions of the Criminal Procedure. Throughout the entire duration of the project the juvenile detainees will be monitored and there will be regular visits to Battambang prison. Furthermore children who are reintegrated into their communities are visited and followed up. The main purpose of this activity is to promote the best interest of the rights of the child who come into contact with the law through deviating them from the formal justice system and reduce overcrowded prisons during pre-trial detention.Senior Program Managerof AusAIDChhay Ros (l.) and LAC staff are visiting a boy who got in conflict with the law and is now reintegrated in his village.
      In fact,14 children who received bail in communities were followed up. Some children who had been reintegrated into their communities admitted being very sorry about their crimes, but all were happy because they had the chance to come back home and attend school. These achievements  reflect the positive impacts of the project achieved through the implementation of the project plan, specifically, regular meetings amongst criminal justice actors at the provincial level, capacity building for judicial police, court officials and other relevant government agencies, legal aid services and community awareness raising.Follow-up-01Follow-up-02Following up another juvenile who was reintegrated into his village
    • Training sessions in form of capacity building for D&CCWC, child representatives and the supporting of peer-to-peer education are provided to ensure that children can understand their rights properly and are able to share the new gained information to other children. The project staff guides children how to use LAC’s flipcharts and posters to share information relation to basic concepts of Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and the rights of the child. Additionally, facilitating and reporting skills and new knowledge concerning to Cambodian laws are provided by the LAC advocacy officer. While existing and new arising problems can be indentified and participants can try to solve them while discussing them directly at the meetings of D&CCWC, child representatives and children their selves can practice their knowledge and skills by developing own strategies and educate each other in the most common children´s rights learned by the project staff. In addition to that D&CCWC, the District Department of Education, Takream Primary School, Pagoda and LAC PPCICL are co-organising celebrations of the International Children´s Day in the target districts.  During this event, speeches were made by children and adults about the basic rights of the child particularly rights of survival through reducing Cambodia’s high levels of child mortality, mostly as a result of disease. The event also had a series of child performances such as playing roles about their rights and also their needs for development.
    • The outreach programme consists of radio talk show programmes in collaboration with Radio ABC. In the programme there are live discussions about rising problems regarding children issues and topics are shown such as related articles of the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedure and other relevant legal instruments.
    • Advocacy activities are organised such as the Criminal Justice Actors Meeting and there are build partnerships with existing child advocacy groups to create a network of services. The Provincial Criminal Justice Actors, chaired by the provincial prosecutor, has been organised three times with co-funding from Save the Children through LAC’s Child Justice Program. In order to build partnerships with different child advocacy groups there are organised meetings to share information and get in closer contact. Project staff was for example involved with Provincial Stakeholders for the Rights of Women and Children in Battambang which participants come from Banteay Srey, AVEC, LICADHO, ADHOC, ARM, International Handicap, World Vision, KNK and other relevant agencies working with children. The project has also been involved with Provincial Civil Society Network Against Child Labour coordinated by World Vision Cambodia and funded by the ILO. The main purpose of the network is to prevent children at risk from the worst forms of child labour. Legal Aid of Cambodia has a special role to provide consultation about legal analysis and support legal services for children. The purpose of the meeting is also to raise recommendations about strengthening relationships, co-operation and facilitation between concerned units, service providers and communities to ensure activities are implemented to support women and children.